- Associated Press - Thursday, August 20, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office said it has concerns that disclosing more pornographic emails exchanged by office employees could be perceived as retaliating against witnesses in the criminal case against her.

Besides the perception of retaliation, Kane’s spokesman Chuck Ardo said other concerns surround the disclosure of the names of other people who exchanged the emails. Some of them may be private individuals who are not state employees, and others may be protected by union contracts, Ardo said.

Still, Kane intends to release more details about the scandal, Ardo said Thursday.

Kane has said that releasing the information is crucial to her defense strategy against charges she leaked investigative information subject to secrecy protections and then lied to a grand jury about it. She has said she did nothing wrong.

“The Supreme Court has cleared the way,” Kane told WNEP-TV during an appearance in State College at Ag Progress Days. “As soon as we have the appropriate jurisdiction, we will make that a vigorous part of my defense, and that defense starts on Monday.”

Kane’s preliminary hearing is Monday in Montgomery County on nine charges against her filed by prosecutors there. A district judge will determine whether prosecutors can show enough evidence to bring the criminal case to trial.

The pornographic email scandal, which broke last year, has already resulted in numerous firings and two high-profile resignations, including a state Supreme Court justice.

Documents unsealed by the state Supreme Court this week show that a grand jury judge’s protective order against retaliation was not intended to prevent the appropriate public disclosure of information in the emails.

But Ardo said that did not resolve concerns about the perception of retaliation. Numerous members of the attorney general’s office testified in the investigation of Kane.

Asked how the attorney general’s office plans to deal with concerns over the perception of retaliation, Ardo directed questions to Kane’s criminal defense lawyers. Her lawyer, Gerald Shargel, responded that he does not work for or with the attorney general’s office, and it is Kane’s interests that he will address in the case.


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